Thursday, June 9, 2016

Top 100 Actors: Part XIV (#35 - 31)

35. Fredric March

One of the great golden age actors who never seems to get the credit he deserves (by which I mean in a modern context). With 2 Oscar wins and a few other nominations, he was one of the biggest actors of his time, and that is due in large part to his range of emotion and ability to tackle (sometimes literally) transformative roles.

Favorite performances:
A Star Is Born
Death Of A Salesman
The Best Years Of Our Lives
Inherit The Wind
Middle of the Night
Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde
The Royal Family of Broadway
Seven Days In May
Death Takes A Holiday

34. Robert De Niro

What a career! What a talent! What a...horrible, horrible decade of acting he just came out of. Thankfully, he had Silver Linings Playbook to help pull him back up from the bowels of laziness and self-parody that he'd been wallowing in for several years, though his recent filmography could never stand up to the incredible work he took part in over the decades leading up to the dark ages (which is basically everything from 2000 - 2011). One of the highest-regarded actors of all time, a huge influence on almost every actor in the business, and an acting legend if there ever was one.

Favorite performances:
Taxi Driver
Raging Bull
The Godfather Part II
The King of Comedy
The Deer Hunter
Analyze This
Mean Streets

33. Burt Lancaster

A brutish hurricane-like force of charm and energy, Lancaster's talents may not be referenced by most modern movie nerds (the foolish fools!!), but that's just because people are idiots, obviously. Or, you know, because his movies aren't the most well-known, whichever you prefer. That being said, Lancaster was one of the best of his era, and the proof is in the pudding.

Favorite performances:
Sweet Smell of Success
The Swimmer
Birdman of Alcatraz
From Here To Eternity
Atlantic City
Elmer Gantry
Field of Dreams
The Leopard
Local Hero

32. Christopher Lee

A horror icon with one of the coolest voices ever, Lee acted in movies for the better part of a century (he appeared in films over the course of 8 decades) and was a major presence during most of that time. He wasn't just a great actor, but a wonderful physical character actor as well. And no, it has nothing to do with acting bit he gets extra points for making metal Christmas music in his 80s. It makes no difference here, but I still find it funny.

Favorite performances:
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring & The Two Towers
Horror of Dracula
The Wicker Man
The Man With the Golden Gun
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Treasure Island
Gremlins 2
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

31. Albert Finney

Quite possibly my favorite curmudgeonly actor, and one of the most frequently ignored Oscar bridesmaids ever (5 nominations, no wins). Now in his 80s, it's hard to see him come back after close to a decade of being basically retired (two small appearances notwithstanding), but his entertaining and compelling work from the early 1960s and on will always be there, much to the joy of fans like myself. Yet another actor who doesn't ever quite get the praise he deserves from general filmgoers, but that doesn't stop me from declaring him one of the greatest British actors who's ever lived.

Favorite performances:
Murder On The Orient Express
The Dresser
Big Fish
The Browning Version
Miller's Crossing
Saturday Night And Sunday Morning
Erin Brockovich
Under the Volcano
Tom Jones

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